Are you “Unbanked”?

21 09 2012

According to a recent article on CNN Money, nearly 10 million households across the country are living without a bank account.  Areas where the largest percentage of residents do not have bank accounts also have been found to have the largest percentage of low-income poverty stricken regions.

Odysseas Papadimitriou, CEO of says this is not a coincidence: “Wherever you see high poverty and low-income populations, you will see higher populations of unbanked.”

Most low-income families are not able to keep a high balance in their checking accounts or pay monthly fees, so they prefer to not have that type of an account.  Their alternatives can be costly and fee-ridden as well though.

Check-cashers, payday loans, tax refund anticipation loans or money orders all have fees associated with them.  Prepaid cards are also becoming more and more popular, like the GreenDot card.  However, even these cards have fees which can range on a “per transaction” basis of $.50 to monthly fees of $9.95.

In the last two years, the percentage on “unbanked” has increased from 7.7% to 8.2%.  Perhaps checking accounts could be offered that have absolute basic features at lower fees or even free.  It wasn’t that long ago that a standard checking account was offered for free at most retail finance institutions.


What is the Fiscal Cliff?

12 07 2012

Basically, the Fiscal Cliff refers to the expiration of several tax cuts at the end of 2012 enacted under President George W. Bush, as well as mandatory spending cuts resulting from the debt ceiling fight last summer. Read the rest of this entry »

What’s the deal with the mortgage deal?

11 02 2012

The all too familiar story of homeowners in over their heads owing more on their home than it is worth may have a twist! A $26 billion foreclosure settlement mortgage deal with the nation’s largest banks, will provide some relief to homeowners under pressure. Read the rest of this entry »

Consumer debt decreased in 2011

17 01 2012

Great news, credit card debt decreased by 11% last year!

According to a recent article from CNN Money, the average credit card balance in 2010 was $7,404 and in 2011 this dropped to an average of $6,576.

Read the rest of this entry »

Can we stand another financial meltdown?

23 11 2011

The Federal Reserve is having America’s largest banks go through a new round of Stress Testing to see if they would be able to endure financial meltdown like what we experienced in 2008. Stress Testing helps determine the stability of a given entity, in this case, financial institution. Read the rest of this entry »

Are we in the clear?

28 09 2011

As we prepare to begin the United State’s new fiscal year Oct. 1st, the question remains. Are we in the clear? We have been through a lot financially in recent years. We’ve had a recession, bailouts, and the United States Government nearly closed down. Public employees and military families’ livelihoods have continued to hag in the balance as policy makers debate budgetary reform. The dust seems to have settled, but it is better to be safe than sorry. Here are a few tips from USAA’s article Another Government Shutdown Still in the Cards.  Read the rest of this entry »

Should the U.S. Investment Grade be Lowered?

25 07 2011

What is an Investment grade? It is a rating that assesses the credit worthiness of a corporation’s or government’s debt. With the U.S debt ceiling on the brink of being reached, and no deal in place, there is speculation that the International Monetary Fund may consider downgrading the U.S. government’s credit rating. Such a move could be “extremely damaging” not just for the U.S. but for the global economy as a whole.

Read the rest of this entry »